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Tour du Mont Blanc - A Punter's Perspective

Chamonix Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard Cormet du Roselend custom kit France Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc - A Punter's Perspective

It seemed like a good idea at the time! My younger (much fitter and significantly less chubbier) brother and relatively new to the cycling thing started smashing ultra-endurance events, and 2 years ago successfully finished the 330 km (205 mile) 8,700 m (30,000 ft) Tour du Mont Blanc Cyclo. Since he completed this wee jaunt I have, whilst drinking his wine, politely nodded enthusiastically whilst listening to lengthy narrations of the day. Until this year, the 7th iteration of the event only 1300 people had made it to the finish line with an attrition rate of more than a third,...

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UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, Albi 2017

Albi France Granfondo

UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, Albi 2017

The finals of the UCI Gran Fondo Age Group World Championships took place in Albi, Southern France in late August 2017. Shutt Velo Rapide had two riders there...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 11: Thonon Les Bains to Geneva Airport

Alpine Alps Bike Packing Cycle Touring France geneva Mountains Switzerland

Venice to Geneva, Day 11: Thonon Les Bains to Geneva Airport

With the knowledge that all the hard riding was behind us, a huge meal the night before and a celebratory beer or six, the sleep in the local Ibis was particularly comfortable. It seemed to be the comfiest bed I'd ever woken up in. Even with a late breakfast agreed it proved hard to drag myself out of bed but I eventually made it down and enjoyed a good feed with a view of the lake. All very civilised. Ahead of us lay about 40km of lovely relaxed riding along one of the main cycle routes that surround Lake Geneva. Initially...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 10: Plateau D'Assy to Thonon-les-Bains

Alps Bike Packing Côte des Gets Cycle Touring France Mountains Plateau D'Assy Thonon-les-Bains

Venice to Geneva, Day 10: Plateau D'Assy to Thonon-les-Bains

Côte des Gets (1,165m) Breakfast that morning was as plentiful and delicious as dinner last night. Being in France, the coffee and pastries were especially on point. Inventively, I managed to somehow cram a croissant filled with ham and cheese into the toaster at the buffet breakfast. The impatient annoyance of the other guests at my monopolisation of the machine quickly subsidised into jealousy when they saw and smelt the delicious creation.The hotel was halfway up a climb, so to warm up in the in the low hanging clouds which greeted us after rolling out from the reception, we ascended to...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 9: Zermatt to Plateau D'Assy

Alpine Alps Bike Packing Chamonix Col de la Forclaz Col des Montets Cycle Touring France Mountains Plateau D'Assy Switzerland

Venice to Geneva, Day 9: Zermatt to Plateau D'Assy

Col de la Forclaz (1,527 m), Col des Montets (1,461 m) Last night potentially the worst mechanical of the adventure struck Phil's machine... Snapped rear gear cable. For those uneducated in the dark arts of derailleur setup, when a rear shifter cable goes, the chain is put straight into the smallest cog, which obviously, is not great if you're planning on doing 3000m of climbing that day. Phil turned to the most generous, dexterous, mechanically minded, methodical, strongest, handsome and humble member of the group and pleaded for help. I was only too happy to oblige.Rising early, I sorted Phil's bike. The...

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